Top Five Favorite Movies Featuring Pro Wrestlers

Brian Damage, Tom Casola, Lowlife Louie Ramos and Amerigo Diehl

First and foremost, Ring the Damn Bell would like to welcome and introduce Tom Casola to our readers. Tom is not only a fan of old school wrestling, he was also pro wrestler himself who traveled the world. Tom’s vast knowledge of the business inside and out is extraordinary. We would also like to reintroduce ‘Lowlife’ Louie Ramos to the blog. Louie (like Tom) is also a pro wrestler and hardcore icon. We are fortunate to have both on board and I am proud to call both men friends.

Today’s top five category is about favorite movies featuring professional wrestlers. They do not necessarily have to be the stars of the movie, but have somewhat of a role. The movies themselves do not have to be about pro wrestling either. What wrestlers stood out in a particular movie you love?


5. Wise Guys – Lou Albano

This was a very underrated comedy starring Danny DeVito and Joe Piscopo. Albano played a mobster named Frank “The Fixer” Acavano and in my opinion, really steals the show. I recommend checking it out, especially if you like cheesy 80’s movies.

4. The Godfather – Lenny Montana

The Godfather is an all time cinematic masterpiece from the early 1970’s. What many people might not realize, is that a former pro wrestler had a small, but significant role in the picture. His name was Lenny Montana and he played a hitman named Luca Brasi. You can read all about Lenny Montana and his exploits here.

3. Rocky III – Hulk Hogan

Who could ever forget the brief, but extremely memorable character of ‘Thunderlips’ played by Hulk Hogan in Rocky III? It was a small role in the movie, but helped catapult the entire Hulkamania movement in the 1980’s.

2. Road House – Terry Funk

This is a personal favorite movie of mine. Yes, it is your typical cheesy 80’s style action flick, but it is done so well. Terry Funk has a role as a corrupt, bouncer in the movie. Funk knows how to play the role of a heel so well.

1. They Live – Roddy Piper

They Live is overall an excellent sci fi movie that is very cheesy, but action packed and Piper has a starring role in it. This flick should’ve made Piper into a big movie star, but alas…that never happened.


5. Mighty Joe Young (1949) – had more wrestlers at one time in a movie (Karl ‘Killer’ Davis, William ‘Wee Willie’ Davis, Man Mountain Dean, Primo Carnera (boxer/wrestler); Henry Kulky; Slammin’ Sammy Menacker (married to June Byers); “The Mad Russian” Ivan Rasputin; Sammy Stein; and The Swedish Angel)

4. Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950) – mixed the two things I loved as a kid – Abbott and Costello and Wrestling (Sammy Menacker, William ‘Wee Willie’ Davis & Tor Johnson)

3. The One and Only (1978) – as a kid a dream come true mixing the FONZ with Wrestling (Roddy Piper, Chavo Guerrero Sr.; “Judo” Gene LeBell & Jimmy Lennon Sr)

2. Grunt: The Wrestling Movie (1985) – Wrestling version of Spinal Tap. (Too many names to mention)

1. The Wrestler (1974) – as a kid it was the first movie that featured all wrestlers (mostly AWA wrestlers, Vince McMahon Sr. The movie deals with the idea of a Wrestling Super Bowl)

Honorable mentions: Princess Bride, Paradise Alley, Predator, Guardian of the Galaxy; Spider Man; Hell Comes to Frogtown;


5. No Holds Barred – Hulk Hogan

No Holds Barred campy, sure. Ridiculous maybe..but Hulk Hogan playing a hero and battling the humongous heel Zeus was like WWF in the big screen..and as life long Hulkamaniacs, who wouldn’t love that?

4. Rampage – The Rock

Even though Dwayne Johnson tries to distance himself from wrestling from time to time, the fact he was The Rock will never go away. And without wrestling, does he become a huge movie star? I think not. This one ranks with me because the movie was great and as a huge fan of the game..hit home.

3. The Princess Bride – Andre the Giant

Andre the Giant stamps himself as one of the most famous people and performers on earth with a performance for the ages.

2. They Live – Roddy Piper

Roddy Piper’s cult hit still rings true to this day .as the OBEY brand is seen all over now a days and the movie is chock full of great moments.

1. Rocky 3 – Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan cemented his place in the national conscience with this piece of work. It still stands to this day and it is so meaningful, as it is the beginning of crossovers.


5. The Princess Bride- Andre the Giant

Andre did a great job in this one, and was cast perfectly, just as he was cast years earlier as a guest star as big foot, in one of the most popular episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man.

4. Road House – Terry Funk

No he did not have a part as big as some others, however keep in mind that this, like “They Live” was done more than 30 years ago when not everyone outside of wrestling knew who wrestlers were. They could have chosen any number of guys to play that part, the fact that they chose Funk shows how much faith they had in him to pull off that role.

3. They Live- Roddy Piper

Great job by Piper, at a time when wrestling was still taking off and still working to gain the respect of fans outside of the industry. The fight scene over the glasses is pretty awesome.

2. Predator-Jesse Ventura-

I remember on Saturday morning wrestling they would show small clips during wrestling and I was so excited to see that a wrestler was going to be featured in the movie. Jesse did a great job, both on the film, and working it into his commentary building himself up as a true Hollywood star even before the movie was released.

1. Rocky III- Hulk Hogan

Here’s the thing…Yes there are better performances, and better acting jobs, however the importance of this one cannot be overstated. Hogan does the movie, Hogan gets fired from Vince Senior’s WWF. Hogan joins AWA, only to have Vince Jr. who is buying the company recruit him back with the plans to launch him as the face of what will be a nationwide promotion. Had the Rocky offer never happened, who knows how wrestling in the 80’s would have turned out.

Are there any other movies featuring wrestlers that you love that we missed? Sound off below…

You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.

7 thoughts on “Top Five Favorite Movies Featuring Pro Wrestlers

  1. Not counting Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler which is one of my all-time favorite films (that featured R-Truth, Cesaro, and many other indie luminaries).

    1. They Live-Roddy Piper
    2. The Princess Bride-Andre the Giant
    3. Terry Funk-Roadhouse
    4. Chris Jericho, the Big Show, Kane, MVP, the Great Khali, and Mark Henry-Macgruber
    5. Jesse Ventura-The Running Man

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How can no one mention “Night and the City” Stanislaus Zbyszko as the prideful old wrestler is just fantastic, and the wrestling scene is AWESOME!!!


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